‘Crazy Horse’ Kicks off UMass Boston Film Series on Wednesday
September 25, 2012
The popcorn is gone. The superheroes have hung up their tights. It’s official: Summer blockbuster season is over. After five months of IMAX-sized mayhem, movie watchers may be craving a little substance – and for that, UMass Boston has the perfect solution.
The inaugural UMass Boston Film Series, beginning Wednesday, will bring six critically lauded pictures to campus throughout the fall. A new film will be shown every two weeks through late November.
Award-winning filmmaker and UMass Boston lecturer Chico Colvard curated the film series. His selections are by turns serious (Detropia,) whimsical (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,) and somewhere in between (Crazy Horse.)
Colvard said he used the personality of UMass Boston as a guide to help him choose the right films.
“I felt the subject matter had to be relatable and of interest to a mostly twenty-something crowd,” he said. “I also thought it important that the filmmakers reflect the lives of many of our students. Most are in their twenties or thirties, and a majority of the directors are women.”
Colvard toured the country in 2010 with his documentary Family Affair, including many stops at university-sponsored film festivals. His experiences informed the development of the UMass Boston series.
“With every screening, workshop, panel discussion or speaking engagement that I took part in, I found myself asking the question, ‘Why doesn’t UMass Boston have a comparable film series?’” Colvard said.
Two years later, Colvard’s vision has come true. And independent directors are excited to screen their work for students, he said.
“I find the filmmakers grateful to share their work with an audience – especially in an academic setting, where more and more filmmakers are directing their outreach efforts and wanting their work to have a life beyond the red carpet,” Colvard said.
All showings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center ballroom; admission is free. A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and Colvard will follow each screening.
A complete schedule is below:
Wednesday, September 26
Crazy Horse – Frederick Wiseman’s documentary chronicles rehearsals and performances of “DÉSIRS,” a new show at Crazy Horse Paris, a legendary cabaret in the City of Lights. A discussion with the director follows.
The film includes nudity and sexual content that some viewers may find inappropriate. Colvard says he chose “Crazy Horse” not to be scandalous, but to provoke discussion.
“I’m counting on the academic setting at UMass Boston to attract voices that will push back against the images and messages contained in his film,” he said. “At the same time, however, I have seen Wiseman in action at Q-and-As, and find him to be quite eloquent and capable of defending his work.”
Thursday, October 4
Detropia – Detroit is shrinking. Once a testament to the power of American industry, the Motor City has lost 25 percent of its people and half its manufacturing jobs in the last decade. This documentary by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady focuses not on what Detroit has lost, but on the people who remain. A discussion with the directors follows.
Tuesday, October 16
Girl Model – What is an industry built on appearances really like beneath the surface? This documentary explores modeling from the perspectives of two women: Nadya, a teen plucked from a life of obscurity in Russia to become a star in Tokyo, and Ashley, a talent scout whose experiences in the trade have made her cynical. A discussion with filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin follows.
Thursday, November 1
Poster Girl – For combat veterans, the price of war is never fully paid. This Oscar-nominated documentary follows Iraq war vet Robynn Murray as she fights post-traumatic stress disorder. A discussion with Murray and director Sara Nesson follows.
Thursday, November 15
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty – Terence Nance’s debut feature – about his elusive near-romance with a beautiful stranger – is less a movie than a multimedia adventure. A discussion with Nance follows.
Thursday, November 29
Code of the West – Years ago, deep-red Montana was a surprising leader in the movement to legalize medicinal marijuana. In 2011, as states across the country weighed their own changes to decades-old drug laws, the Montana State Legislature tackled the consequences of the law and whether to repeal it. A discussion with director Rebecca Richman Cohen follows.